3 Takeaways: Teams that won't be big buyers
We’ve spent the last couple weeks discussing which teams are going to be making deals in order to augment their (hopeful) playoff runs. This week, we’re going to look at three contenders who likely won’t partake in any major transactions, for various reasons.
Los Angeles Angels: 55-43
If it’s possible for a first place team to need help in the worst way, the Angels qualify. While they hold a one-game lead on the Astros, their left field production is a paltry .212/.277/.312 on the season. While Mike Trout continues to set the standard for “out of this world,” and Albert Pujols has found the fountain of youth, the Angels could still use another bat. The problem is they have very little to offer other teams. The jewel of their farm system is 2014 first-round pick Sean Newcomb, and if he is considered off limits, it’s hard to see them able to make a competitive offer without affecting the team on the field. If they do make a move, expect it to be around the fringes, and likely targeting left field.
St. Louis Cardinals: 63-35
The Cardinals are as likely to do as little as the Angels (fringe-work) but for altogether different reasons. They’ve already made one fringe-type move in acquiring Steve Cishek, but more substantive trades aren’t necessarily likely. St. Louis has the farm system to acquire anyone who is available - and even some who aren’t. But they don’t have the need. They hold a six game lead on Wild Card-leader Pittsburgh, and while they lack a regular first baseman and a dynamic center fielder, neither of those are black holes that have prevented them from compiling baseball’s best record thus far. With a system that can provide reinforcements (see: Piscotty, Stephen), they’ve no need to look outside their own organization for help.
Washington Nationals: 52-45
Like the Angels, the Nationals could use some help. Like the Cardinals, they don’t have to look outside the org to get it. Rather, they need to look to the disabled list. They just recently received Anthony Rendon back, but are still waiting on Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and David Carpenter, among others. That’s a massive amount of talent and production on the shelf, and while they’re barely holding on to first at the moment, it shouldn’t be overlooked that they’ve done so while regularly starting Clint Robinson. They’ve already called upon their farm system a few times this year (Joe Ross, Michael A. Taylor) but they’ve got more talent below the surface should they need reinforcements as well. All of this is to say, while the Nationals could use a shot in the arm, they’ll likely use a taste of their own medicine to get it.